an ode to the events we lost this year

Welly boots in the far corner of the closet, brand new and never worn. She places other boxes on top and lets them collect dust.

A brown envelope opened with shaking fingers. The end of three years marked with a half-hearted smile and a glass of prosecco in your own back garden.

Holding a black photograph with wriggled white lines. He wants to clench his hands into fists but instead he smoothes the paper. She said that hearing the heartbeat felt like coming home, but he wouldn’t know.

A tennis racket smashed to pieces, its strings jutting out.

The holiday of a lifetime lived through guidebooks, folding corners with a reverence that should have been reserved for natural wonders.

A world alight with colour against the black backdrop of a computer screen, a sparkler held in clenched fists, without your loved ones’ hands clenched tightly around yours.

People passed in corridors, friends who should’ve been made in nightclub toilets and late-night taxi rides and busy lecture halls, now strangers across the street.

She runs her fingers over dark red velvet. Imagines looking into those blinding lights from a stage marked with masking tape. She swallows, her voice caught in her throat, and says goodbye again.

He wraps his arms around himself, the sweetness of Eid forgotten in an empty flat.

Saying vows in front of video cameras.

Foreheads resting against windows.

Memories and moments treasured and mourned. We place them in boxes at the backs of our cupboards. Close the lids. Let them gather dust.

Image courtesy of Jeff Hendricks.

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